In Love by Default
Label: BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd.
Band of Skulls’ reputation has always rested upon their shrewd ability to blend classic British rock with post-modern indie cool. On their fourth full-length (produced by alt-rock icon Gil Norton) the band doesn’t necessarily abandon this strategy, but they do apply a handful of key tweaks. In addition to frequently reigning in guitarist Russell Marsden’s thunderous riffs, they opt to accentuate the purring grooves of bassist Emma Richardson and drummer Matt Hayward on numerous tracks. “So Good,” featuring Richardson’s alluringly sleepy vocals, is a wicked slice of club-friendly dance rock. “Bodies” is significantly more complex in terms of song construction, although its basic rhythmic thrust can be traced back to the intersection of post-punk and disco. When Band of Skulls do decide to drop the hammer (“Black Magic,” “This Is My Fix,” “Tropical Disease”) the results are nothing less than bruising -- of course.